Category Archives: Veggies / Sides

Zucchini “Comfort” Noodles

Hi!

I haven’t posted for a long time, and in case anyone’s reading this, I apologize.

In some ways, I have been distracted by the sad goings-on in Libya and other spots, but in other ways, I have been doing really well.

I wanted to do this blog to learn new recipes, but the last few weeks I’ve been happy to rely on old (new) standards – Alton Brown’s Pot Roast, Melissa Joulwan’s “You’re the Tops” Tuna Salad, PaleOMG Carrot Cake Pancakes, and some old standbys which I haven’t posted:  Cheeseburger Salad and Turkey Paprikash.

Still, I did recently try a new recipe.  I got a gift of lots of zucchini (and for you whose gardens are still producing, keep me in mind!), so I made zucchini noodles.  And these were *wonderful*.  I made them twice in a week.

Comfort Noodles

This recipe is not quick, but it is easy.  From the website:

Ingredients:
2 small zucchini, julienned (about 2 cups) [Julienne peeler is essential.]
generous 1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon almond flour or almond meal
1/2 teaspoon coconut oil
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, crushed
3 eggs, scrambled
a handful of fresh parsley, minced for garnish (optional)
salt & pepper, to taste

Directions:

1. Place the julienned zucchini in a colander or wire strainer and toss with the salt until coated. Allow to sit for 20 minutes to drain excess water, then rinse and pat dry with paper towels. (You may be tempted to skip this step; I strongly advise against it. This step insures tender, rather than watery, noodles.)

2. While the zucchini is sweating in the colander, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Mix the almond flour with the coconut oil, sprinkle it with a smidgen of salt, then sauté in the pan, stirring often with a wooden spoon, until it’s toasty brown, about 1 minute. Remove from pan and save for garnish.

3. Return the pan to the heat and add the zucchini noodles. Sauté until just tender, about 1-2 minutes. Push the noodles to the side of the pan, and reduce heat to medium-low. Wait a minute; it’s essential that the pan cools down before adding the eggs. Add the olive oil and garlic. When the garlic is fragrant, about 20 seconds, pour in the eggs and allow them to cook until just beginning to set a tiny bit. Mix the zucchini noodles into the egg and continue to stir gently and continuously until the egg is set and clinging to the noodles. Taste, then add salt and pepper to your liking.

4. Serve noodles in a deep bowl and sprinkle with the almond flour crumbs and minced parsley. Slurping and ridiculously big bites heartily encouraged.

Here are my results!

 

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Carrot Raisin Salad

Okay, so Carrot Raisin Salad isn’t real glam…it’s more old fashioned southern comfort food.  I can recall having this as a child at family get togethers and dinners on the grounds after church services.  This is the paleo version…it tastes as good as I remember.

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Ingredients:

  • 4 cups shredded carrots (use a food processor…way easier!)
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup finely diced pineapple
  • 1 cup mayonnaise, preferably homemade
  • salt and freshly-ground black pepper, to taste

Toss the carrots, raisins and pineapple in a large bowl with the mayonnaise until thoroughly mixed. Taste; season as needed with salt and pepper.

Refrigerate for an hour to allow the flavors to blend. Serve cold.

This recipe hails from a site called Fast Paleo  http://fastpaleo.com/carrot-salad/


Red, White, and Blue Salad

Peace, everyone, and I hope you had a happy Independence day.  I ate some amazing barbeque ribs and lots of other amazing food prepared by some amazing friends, and I brought this to the party:

Red White & Blue Salad

  • Spinach
  • Blueberries
  • Sliced Strawberries
  • Toasted Pecans
  • Gorgonzola Cheese
  • Strawberry Vinaigrette

   

It’s my own recipe.  Okay, it isn’t much of a recipe, but it beautiful and gives me a chance to introduce you to one of my favorite things:  flavored vinegar.

I go to a local oil and vinegar shop (yes, there are such things) called Navidi’s Olive Oil and Vinegars.  Most of my relatives are familiar with Navidi’s, because they get vinegar for Christmas.  Navidi’s and similar specialty shops sell a variety of olive and nut oils, and about thirty flavors of balsamic vinegar – from Sicilian Lemon to Blackberry Ginger.  A word of caution:  Some balsamic vinegars have added sugar (Navidi’s purportedly does not), so read your labels.

I grew up in East Tennessee, and like most Appalachians, I absolutely love greens and vinegar.  Old-timers used to boil greens, strain the juice, add red wine vinegar, and drink the “pot liquor.”  I’m not quite that bad, but I love cooked greens, and I love salads with vinaigrette.

I made this vinaigrette dressing with Navidi’s Strawberry Vinegar, olive oil, and salt and pepper.  It was tangy and delicious.  I encourage you to try flavored vinegars yourself this summer – they are so good with peaches, strawberries, or as a marinade for chicken or pork.

Omit the cheese from this recipe to make it paleo and vegan!


Broiled Zucchini

Happy Weekend!  Here is an easy and versatile side-dish to get you started:

Broiled Zucchini from Nom Nom Paleo

It uses minimal ingredients and is perfect now, when zucchini is coming into season.

This smells *wonderful* while it is broiling. (Like cookies!  Well, sort of.)  It cooks super-fast and is very tasty.  I used coconut oil and salt and pepper.  You do need a mandolin slicer to make this.  I cut the *tar* out of myself with my mandolin slicer at least once a year, so heed my advice – do not ever take your eyes off the mandolin slicer!

So be careful, but try these this weekend.

 


Cauliflower Rice

I had wanted to try this for sometime.  I had needed a base for several of my dishes and I missed being able to use rice.  I don’t miss all the mineral sucking phytate that is in brown rice, but I do miss the cozy bed that it used to make to tuck my tender main dishes into.  So, I had heard about this cauliflower “rice” mentioned frequently on Mark Sisson’s site (http://www.marksdailyapple.com/#axzz1suYnluSM) and have wanted to try it.  The original recipe hails from his Primal Blueprint Cookbook.   I served a tasty little pan-fried cod with sautéed red peppers over it and this rice held up really well.  It absorbed some of the pan drippin’s from the fish and was pretty darn convincing as “rice” goes.  The down side to this recipe is that it takes some work.  I ended up using a hand grater instead of a food processor to grate the cauliflower.  I didn’t think the processor was doing much more than pulverizing the cauliflower and making more of a mess than just doing it by hand.  So, it took a little while to get the job done, but I ended up with a more attractive “rice” than just a pile of mush.

Ingredients: 

1 head of cauliflower, grated for 1 or 2 cups (however much you will need)

Lots of Oil (i.e. organic butter, olive oil, or coconut oil depending upon your preference.

Lots of salt and pepper to taste.

Steam the riced cauliflower for just a few minutes until tender.  (I grated it directly into a glass bowl, covered it with a soaking wet paper towel, and microwaved it for 2-3 minutes.  Add lots of oil, salt, and pepper to taste.  I found it took lots as it is pretty bland just by itself.  Of course, these amount may vary depending upon what you plan to serve over it.

In the picture above, I served cod that had been gently pan-fried in olive oil and garlic, seasoned with salt and pepper.  The helpful chef that owns the natural food store close to us suggested just to fry it in a little butter so as to not overwhelm the subtle sweet taste of the meat.  But I love garlic (as I’ve mentioned before!) and prefer the strong overwhelming garlic taste on the cod!  It turned out great and I am looking forward to experimenting with this rice again.


Scary Rosemary Squash

OK, I have a confession to make.   I have a fear of butternut squash.  Not of eating it, no.  I am scared of cutting it.

The skin is so thick, and the shape is so awkward, plus the squash is so big, I’m afraid of really cutting myself with my big chef’s knife while I try to cut up the squash.  So I’ve resorted to other options.

Option 1 (credit my friend Maggie):  Put your whole squash into a grocery bag, tie or staple it shut, then go out to your concrete patio and slam the bagged squash into the concrete.  The squash will break apart into pieces, which you then can clean out and bake in a water bath.  No cutting whatsoever.

Option 2:  Go ahead and use your chef knife to make four slow steady cuts vertically and horizontally through the squash, then clean and bake in water bath.  Minimal cutting.

When I have seen recipes involving cubed squash, or butternut squash fries, my response has always been “dream on.”  I keep my fingers safe.

But it would be nice to be able to enjoy butternut squash other in some other ways, so finally, I screwed up my courage and made this:

Rosemary Thyme Butternut Squash by Purely Primal

But first I googled “how to cut up a butternut squash” and reviewed this.  That helped.

Then I got to it.  The prep was surprisingly easy.  And of course it was delicious.

So it seems I have overcome my fear of squash!

    


Bacon-Basil Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes

Hello from Susan again!  I have another great recipe today.  I’ve been pretty lucky with the trial recipes so far – maybe the next one will be a stinker, but this one is fabulous!

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What I liked:  So tasty!  Great in the freezer too.  Sometimes having a fancy side dish makes just plain old meat loaf feel like a really good meal!

What I did not like:  You do have to have fresh basil – this is not usually a problem in the summertime around here, but I just cringe every time I have to buy one of those little boxes of ‘fresh’ herbs for two bucks a pop.  I know I’m not getting a full cup worth of leaves…  Come on summer!

I got this recipe from what is fast becoming one of my favorite sites – http://www.paleomg.com  Check out the original recipe and more:

http://paleomg.com/bacon-basil-baked-sweet-potatoes/

Ingredients

 

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–         3 Medium Sweet Potatoes – go for the more round and plump ones

–         5-6 strips of bacon, diced (I just sautéed the bacon and then diced it up so I didn’t have to touch raw meat….)

–         1 cup fresh basil leaves (go plant some more in the garden right now… I’ll wait…)

–         4-5 Tablespoons olive oil

–         ¼ cup dry roasted almonds

–         1 Tablespoon lemon juice

–         Salt and pepper to taste

 

Instructions:

 

–         Preheat oven to 425 degrees

–         Poke holes in all your sweet potatoes with a fork.  I then wrapped them in aluminum foil and put them on an aluminum foil covered baking sheet – have you ever tried to clean baked sweet potatoes off of your pan?  It is awful.  Bake then for 25 to 35 minutes or until they are done – nice and soft in the middle.

–         While they are baking, sauté your bacon in a pan until nice and crispy.

–         In a food processor, mix your almonds and basil, and then slowly add your olive oil till you get a nice pesto consistency.  Turn off your processor and add the lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste.

–         When the bacon is finished, crumble it up and add to the pesto.  The original recipe has you doing this in the pan with the bacon grease, but I skipped that bit and just mixed it all together in a clean bowl.

–         When your sweet potatoes have finished cooking, cut them in halves and carefully scoop out the middle bits – make sure and leave a good edge of sweet potato around the sides of each one.

–         Mix the scooped out sweet potato with the pesto/bacon until nice and smooth.  Spoon this back into your sweet potato boats.

–         Wrap them up to freeze now, or bake them for 8 to 10 more minutes until the top is a bit brown.

–         Enjoy!